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‘Premier’s budget keeps status quo’

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“It is fitting to mention that this administration remains accountable and can be trusted with the taxpayers’ monies."

Syvia Lucas

THE NORTHERN Cape Office of the Premier has tabled a R248.3 million budget that the DA says is “a budget that only serves to preserve the status quo given the high levels of unemployment and poverty in the Province”.

Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas last week delivered the Office of the Premier budget vote in Kimberley.

The total budget allocation for 2018/19 for the Office of the Premier is R248.3 million, compared to the R246.5 million allocated for the 2017/18 financial year.

According to Lucas, the budget for Vote 1 decreased because R13.5 million of the total allocation is earmarked for funding specific once-off provincial projects, “which in real terms reflects a negative growth in the budget”.

Earmarked funds for the 2018/19 financial year received by the Office of the Premier include R3.5 million for the Provincial Growth and Development Plan and the Spatial Planning Land Use Management Act, while R5 million has been set aside for the Planning Commission (institutionalisation of planning) and a further R5 million for the premier’s Education Trust Fund.

“The allocated budget for the respective programmes are: Administration with a budget allocation of R111.2 million; Institutional Development with with an allocation of R91.4 million; and Policy and Governance with a budget allocation of R45.5 million,” Lucas said

“It is fitting to mention that this administration remains accountable and can be trusted with the taxpayers’ monies.

“This is evident in the fact that once again, during this audit cycle the three oversight departments, namely the Office of the Premier, Treasury and Legislature, received a clean audit, which bodes well for the role that they have to exercise over the entire provincial administration,” Lucas said.

She added that the fight against corruption remained high on the agenda of the provincial government.

“We have ensured that all provincial departments have anti-corruption policies and strategies, including anti-corruption implementation plans. When we say that we are serious about fighting corruption, we stand firm alongside the president of the Republic when he called for stronger action against corruption and crime, be it in the public or private sector,” Lucas added.

The DA responded to the budget by saying that “given the high levels of unemployment and poverty in the Province, as well as the number of service delivery failures, it was unacceptable to continue with a budget that only served to preserve the status quo”.

“It is clear that the Office of the Premier remains visionless and leaderless in a jobless society and the DA therefore does not support the budget vote,” DA provincial leader Andrew Louw said.